Days after Sony's Helldivers 2 PSN debacle, Ghost of Tsushima's PC release gets delisted and refunded from Steam in over 170 countries [UPDATED]

 Ghost of Tsushima.
Ghost of Tsushima.

What you need to know

  • The PC release of Ghost of Tsushima: DIRECTOR'S CUT, the definitive version of the award-winning 2020 action-adventure game developed by Sucker Punch Productions and published by PlayStation maker Sony, has been delisted from Steam in over 170 countries.

  • This news comes after Helldivers 2, another game published by Sony, was heavily review bombed when Sony tried to reintroduce a PSN account linking requirement despite selling the game in non-PSN regions.

  • Sony reversed its decision, but not before Helldivers 2 was delisted from the same non-PSN countries that Ghost of Tsushima is also now unavailable to purchase in.

  • The news also comes after Sucker Punch announced PSN account linking would only be necessary for users playing the co-op multiplayer mode Legends, and a few days before Ghost of Tsushima's scheduled May 16 launch on Steam.

  • At the time of writing, it's unclear if Sony or Valve — Steam's developer — chose to halt sales of the game in these regions.

One week ago, the popular PC and PS5 co-op shooter Helldivers 2 went into a review bombing uproar when PlayStation publisher Sony announced plans to reintroduce a PlayStation Network (PSN) account linking requirement despite the fact that the game was sold in over 170 countries where PSN isn't available. Though Sony reversed its decision, the game was (and still is) delisted from Steam in those regions — and now, the impending PC release of PlayStation's Ghost of Tsushima has been as well.

SteamDB data shows that earlier on Friday, sales of the port of developer Sucker Punch's award-winning action title were halted in non-PSN countries in an update to its backend. Notably, this news comes after Sucker Punch publicly announced players would only need to link their Steam account to a PSN one for Ghost of Tsushima's co-op multiplayer mode Legends, and also less than week before the PC release's scheduled May 16 launch.

"Just so you are aware, A PSN account is required for Legends online multiplayer mode and to use PlayStation overlay," wrote the studio in reply to someone protesting against PSN account linking requirements. "It is not required to play the singleplayer game."

Additionally, Valve — Steam's creator, developer, and overseer — now appears to be auto-refunding preorders of Ghost of Tsushima made in these regions, as is Steam key seller Green Man Gaming. "You are receiving a refund for a game you pre-purchased — Ghost of Tsushima," reads the notice sent to players. "The publisher is now requiring a secondary account to play portions of this game — and this account cannot be created from your country."

A confusing development

Ghost of Tsushima Jin Sakai image
Ghost of Tsushima Jin Sakai image

This situation is very confusing, as we've yet to see an officially stated reason why Ghost of Tsushima has been delisted. We also don't know for sure if Sony or Valve is behind the takedown. I'll be sure to update this article if and when we learn more, but until then, we can't do much more than speculate.

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Compared to last week's Helldivers 2 ordeal, this one is significantly different; according to Sucker Punch, having a PSN account is only required for the Legends multiplayer mode, as opposed to Sony's plan for Helldivers that would have forced all players to link one to their Steam. This fact is made very clear on Ghost of Tsushima's Steam page with a pinned and outlined box of text.

The reasoning given by Valve and other Steam key retailers for cancelled and refunded preorders in non-PSN countries suggest that they don't want to sell the game to customers they know won't be able to access all of its content. And since Ghost of Tsushima's Steam page notices imply Sony is (or was) willing to sell it to players that will only have single player access, I initially thought Valve was responsible for delisting the game.

However, a message sent to a Helldivers 2 fan by Steam Support confirms that Sony was responsible for removing that game from sale, which makes me think it's also behind the takedown of Ghost of Tsushima. Perhaps the PlayStation firm just doesn't want to deal with the fallout that will inevitably come from only giving non-PSN users partial content access.

Again, though, this is all just speculation, and ideally either Sony or Valve will give Steam users some thorough clarification sooner rather than later. If either company does so, I'll share the latest developments here.

Analysis: Please figure this out, man

Overall, this whole situation is a mess, and I really hope Steam and Sony can work together quickly to iron out a solution and let customers know what's going on. I never played Ghost of Tsushima when it first launched on PlayStation in 2020, but I've been looking forward to checking it out with its PC release, and I know there are plenty of other PC gamers out there who feel the same way. I don't think a portion of them should be region locked from having the option to buy it just because of a (clearly stated) PSN requirement for multiplayer, but Sony or Valve might feel differently.

If you happen to live in one of the 69 countries where PSN is supported, Ghost of Tsushima: DIRECTOR'S CUT is still available to preorder on Steam ahead of its May 16 release date. The game costs $59.99, and will feature unlocked framerates, extensive ultrawide support for multiple aspect ratios, and performance-improving technologies like DLSS 3, AMD FSR 3, and XeSS. Like the PS5 release of this version, it will also have Japanese lip sync and support for DualSense controller haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.

Ghost of Tsushima: DIRECTOR'S CUT | $59.99 at GMG (Steam)

Draw your blade and defend Tsushima Island from Mongol invasion as a deadly samurai in Ghost of Tsushima, the award-winning action title from PlayStation Studios and developer Sucker Punch. The soon-to-release PC version will feature unlocked framerates, ultrawide support, and performance-enhancing tech like DLSS 3 and AMD FSR.View Deal